Thursday was the season opener for the 2017-2018 NFL season. It’s a matchup between two teams that made the playoffs last season. The Kansas City Chiefs visit Foxborough, Massachusetts to play the New England Patriots. Of course, the Patriots went on to win last year’s Super Bowl in dramatic fashion.
As most of my friends and relatives know, I am a diehard NFL fan and have followed the NFL since the late 70s. Not only do I enjoy the games but I also love how the NFL moves us into Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas.
Football is a popular American sport. Whether it be high school, college or professional, we love our football. The competitiveness of the sport is always thrilling. I also enjoy listening to people discuss their fantasy teams and how their favorite teams will earn a Super Bowl berth.
For instance, people in Ohio love the Bengals and Browns. I find it comical every year when fans of either team suggest that an Ohio team will make it to the Super Bowl. Any real NFL fan knows history doesn’t suggest this will happen anytime soon. The Bengals haven’t won a playoff game since 1991 and the Browns haven’t won a playoff game since 1995. Still, you have to love their fans because they are hopeful every year.
Although football is a grind, it’s highly competitive. I have seen teams start off like a house on fire only to miss the playoffs and vice versa. Teams can start off slow and still make it to the playoffs. Another exciting aspect of professional football is to watch the latest crop of college players. Since the NFL is made of former great collegiate players, it’s only natural to expect them to keep it going once they enter the NFL.
Unfortunately, this isn’t typical. Many great college players don’t have successful NFL careers. The reason is because the games are different. Players in the NFL are bigger, stronger and the game is much faster. Every NFL team has a roster stocked with many great players. Unlike the college game, you aren’t going to see many NFL games with lopsided results.
For instance, I watched Clemson destroy Kent State last week by a 56-3 score. The game was mismatch from the beginning. But this is how the college game works. There is much disparity between college teams. Depending on the teams, it’s not unusual to see one team dominate another team from start to finish, which is rare in the NFL. But NFL teams often have more parity. The teams and game plans are more level as the league is made of the best players in the country.
“On any given Sunday” is the best statement to describe an NFL game. It doesn’t matter if one team appears better on paper than another. After the kickoff, anything can happen. Most fans, myself included, love this about the NFL. We know that any team on any given day can defeat another team.
Let’s review Sunday’s game between the Steelers and Browns. The game is in Pittsburg and the Browns are starting a rookie quarterback. This tells me the Steelers should dominate this game and the Browns will lose.
Odds are the Steelers will win this game. It will most likely take a miracle from the football gods for the Browns to win, but it could happen. If the Steelers don’t take the Browns serious enough, we could see an upset. You have to remember the Browns are still a professional team and as bad as they are, they could still defeat the best college team. Of course I am a realist and know the Browns have no business winning this game, but that’s why they play the game and why we watch it. In the back of our minds, we hope for an upset.
Last season we witnessed the greatest comeback in Super Bowl history. Can this year’s Super Bowl top it?
We will have to stay tuned to find out. And I am definitely one of the fans who will be waiting to see who will be the next team to raise the much coveted Vince Lombardi trophy.
Marc is a grandparent and longtime resident of Clermont County. Visit his author page Life with Grandpa and he also just wrote Just Bite Me: A Guide to Zombies, Vampires, Werewolves, and Other Walking Nightmares, which is available on Amazon.com.